Matthew 8.1-4 Follow Up May 14, 2018

On Sunday we began our new series examining the miracles of Jesus Christ. We started this week by looking at Jesus’ healing of the leper in Matthew 8.1-4. Jesus’ miracles were not just random acts of kindness, or impressive acts meant to shock the crowds. Jesus’ miracles were signs that were meant to teach us about the King, Jesus Christ, and His Kingdom. The miracles point us to Jesus. As we looked at Jesus’ healing of the leper we learned three key truths about Jesus and His work.

1. Jesus Receives the Unclean. Leprosy in the Bible was not just a horrible physical disease, but also made a person “unclean.” They were kept outside of the social and religious institutions of the day. In the Bible leprosy is often a picture of man’s sinfulness, even in the Old Testament (Hag. 2.11-14; Is. 1.6). As people, we are not just sinful because of the sins we do, but we are sinners by nature. We are unclean as well. Yet, we see that Jesus received this unclean man. He allowed this man to approach him. Jesus came to save sinners.

2. Jesus Touches the Unclean. Prophets had healed lepers before in the Old Testament, but nobody incorporated touching the lepers. In the Old Testament Law touching a leper invited unclean status upon oneself as well. Yet, Jesus reached out and touched this man. Jesus was not made unclean, but rather cleansed the leper. Jesus heals our uncleanness, not by standing apart from us, but by entering into our sinful world, taking our sins upon Himself, and dying for us. Jesus touches the unclean.

3. Jesus is Able and Willing to Heal the Unclean. When the leper came to Jesus he was confident that the Lord was able to heal him, but he wasn’t sure if Jesus was willing. Jesus told the man He was willing to heal him. Jesus is not only able to save, but willing to save. Nobody who comes to Jesus in genuine faith ever needs to worry that Jesus is not willing to save His people. Sometimes, however, we know that Jesus is willing and able to save, but we struggle with liking this fact. Do we really want Jesus to save our enemies? Are we sometimes like Jonah in the Old Testament who knew God was able and willing to save Nineveh, but was upset by this truth?

Jesus’ healing of the leper confronts us with a gracious, loving, powerful, and willing Savior. Praise be to God!

Here is the order of service from Sunday and some discussion questions: Matt. 8.1-4 Notes.

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan

1 Corinthians 16.1-24 Follow Up May 7, 2018

On Sunday we finished up our series on the book of 1 Corinthians. What a joy it was to study this book together as a church! We tried to summarize Paul’s encouragement to the Corinthians by looking at 1 Cor. 16.1-24. In these verses Paul gives a brief summarizing exhortation surrounded by encouraging greetings that enable us to fulfill the commandments Paul gives us.

1. Summarizing Commands. In vv. 13-14 Paul calls us to  be watchful, courageous and to do all things with love. To be watchful is to be careful, diligent, and persistent in our walk with the Lord. We are called to be on guard against temptation in all the seasons of life. We need to be watchful and have courage because we, like the Corinthians, live in a world that is filled with temptation and foolishness. God calls us to his wisdom, and it takes courage to seek to please God above all else. It is important to note, however, that the call to be courageous is by no means a call to be angry and harsh. Paul wants us to do all things in love. It takes courage to stand for biblical truth which includes loving our enemies and serving one another.

2. Encouraging GreetingsPaul surrounds these last exhortations with a vast array of greetings from fellow Christians. Paul wants the Corinthians to know that while they are called to be watchful, courageous, and loving; they are not called to do this alone. The Corinthians have the local church in Corinth, godly leaders who live in their midst, other churches in Asia and Ephesus, and even other church leaders like Paul, Apollos, and Timothy. The Corinthians are connected and dependent on all of these as part of the Body of Christ. Paul then ends his letter with a reminder about God’s grace. In order to be watchful we must be dependent upon the Lord’s grace.

Even though Paul has given many commands in the book of 1 Corinthians, this last chapter really summarizes what we can take away from the book. May we all be watchful, courageous, and loving as we walk together with one another in dependence on God’s grace.

Here are the discussion questions and order of service from Sunday: 1 Cor. 16.1-24 Notes.

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan